Bedtime Hotties

It’s summer. Or is it?

Once again the traditional British summer managed to last almost a fortnight before disappearing.  While it is starting to feel like autumn I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much. It may not have been scorching but its been consistently warm over the past few months.

At least there hasn’t been a need for anything extra to keep me warm at night, like a hot water bottle. The subject for this blog entry.

It may seem the wrong season to be writing about the hot water bottle but that is the point of the blog, writing about objects you don’t usually see or wouldn’t normally be thinking about. I have a hot water bottle at home and whenever I use it I feel like I’m a little kid again.

Hot water bottles have been around for a very long time. Originally they started as hot pans, or bed warmers which would warm your bed before you got in. I’m not going to focus on bed warmers but strictly on hot water bottles and two early examples which are here in the museum.

The first object was recently on show in our ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ exhibition and generated a lot of interest. It turns out that people were still using these ceramic foot warmers until fairly recently. (I use the word recently in a loose sense) One member of staff had to share it with her sister, who insisted on having the end with the handle, as it had more room for your feet!

Which would you rather cuddle upto?

The second is, visually, something which we would recognise today as a hot water bottle, except it doesn’t use hot water. It’s a plastic model which uses electricity. Now, I understand people use heated blankets and there are similarities, but there is something very disconcerting about an electrical cable sneaking in under the covers keeping you warm. Or is that just me?

Whilst these are perfectly viable alternatives I think I’ll stick to what I currently use.

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Blackburn Museum can be found in Blackburn, Lancashire. It houses objects documenting Blackburn's industrial past as well as a world class collection of Fine Art, Japanese prints, Icons, Numismatics and Manuscripts. Come and visit us to find out more.

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